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Brit-Think, Ameri-Think: A Transatlantic Survival Guide, Revised Edition Paperback


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Brit-Think, Ameri-Think: A Transatlantic Survival Guide, Revised Edition + Knickers in a Twist: A Dictionary of British Slang
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised edition (February 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142001341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142001349
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An American broadcaster and journalist who lives in London with her British husband, Walmsley observes that Yanks and Brits have distinctly different "attitudes and aspirations." Here she catalogues some of those differences, and the subjects include pets ("What Joan Collins is to Yanks' fantasies, sheepdogs are to Brits' "); humor ("The vastly popular Johnny Carson Show laid a U.K. egg"); sports (cricket is "an exercise of such subtlety that only life long devotees can tell when the ball is actually in play"); consumerism ("British salespeople are very attached to merchandise and try hard to keep it in the store"); and public appeal ("To succeed in America, you have to be 'cute' "). Walmsley also covers sex, death, religion, war, television and ice cream ("the Great Levelerthe Yank version of pubs"). This is a fine, funny guide from a perceptive humorist.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A candid and humorous look at the way Americans and British view life from different perspectives...combining clever quips with the humour found on both sides of the Atlantic." —The Washington Post



"A funny, shrewd book." —Alastair Cooke


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Customer Reviews

This quirky little book is fun to read, and full of funny antidotes.
Nolen
This was a really wacked-out picture of a minority of very extreme, out-of-control, textbook-classic rude Americans.
Edith MacIntyre
This book does a great job of explaining the cultural differences between America and Great Britain.
AnnainCA@aol.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By JR Peterman on July 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book by an American born woman who has been transplanted to Britain is a very enjoyable read. Her anecdotal style makes the information fun and fascinating, and her insights invaluable, though one must have a sense of humor about both cultures as she is very tongue-in-cheek. As opposed to most other books I've read on the subject that are almost strictly technical, Walmsley tells the readers in a very conversational style about many differences that wouldn't occur to most travelers - differences in attitude (about sex, gender issues, finance, etc.), values, customs, etiquette and habits; and she may sometimes touch a little on why the discrepencies exist.

Because this is in no way a dictionary style book, she does not offer alternate words, phrases or technical info. Thus, as a supplement, I highly recommend "Divided by a Common Language" by Christopher Davies, who (as opposed to Walmsley) is a Brit who now lives in Florida.

All in all - a humorous, anecdotal insight into two very different cultures. Even though this may not be as technical as some travelers would prefer, the information is crucial for developing a truer understanding than is offered in any travel guide, so do not pass it over for the latter; buy it as well.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Hugh Mason on October 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book creases me up. As an angry young man growing up in England, it was fashionable to rage against the cultural imperialism of the folks with whom we share something of a common language but actually surprisingly little culture across the water. Now I thoroughly enjoy visiting the US and doing most of my business with Americans - and I put some of the fun and success I've had doing that down to this book. It was bought for me by an all-american gal with the words 'Hugh, read this if you want us get along!" (by the way that's 'get along' not 'get on' - just one example of a potential pitfall for the unwary!). Thank you Marly - and I hereby pass on your commendation to anyone else who's trying to have business or personal relationship across the atlantic divide!
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By JennyJuniper on October 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
As a Brit married to a Yank, I had to laugh at a few of the customer reviews below. Some people seemed to be very seriously expecting a guide about how to avoid horrible breaches of business etiquette. Just because it has 'Survival Guide' in the title..... lighten up!
Admittedly, it probably is a little dated. I was given my treasured, tattered copy a number of years ago by an Anglophile Yank, and laughed my head off at the very accurate observations. I suddenly understood why my American friends thought I had a 'poor self-image' - they take all that self-depracating humor seriously!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Claudia Charest on March 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've worked for a British-based company for fifteen years and was introduced to this book by my British colleague a number of years ago. We were working on a three year project involving Brits and Americans. We started each of our workshops by reading a chapter from this book. What a great ice-breaker and afterwards, we convened with a better understanding of our cultural differences. Since then, I own three copies of this book (always on loan and quite frayed around the edges)!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book has been updated and now reflects many modern cultural traits for comparison as well as new words to compare. It also compares attitudes to war and the Brit perception of the Amis' politics and vice versa.
The section on the differences in British/American humor is particularly funny but the entire book is humorous. Tongue-in-cheek but all from those 'grains of truth' we often fail to see in our own cultures.
I highly recommend it as a light read that'll make you smile in recognition and give you a few of those 'aha!' moments.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
I was absolutely hooked by page 4. Working for a British controlled company in the southern United States, and also having a British boss, I was "keen" to have a better understanding of why there were so many disconnects in our communication.
Between chortles and tears of laughter, I discovered the true understanding of why we are separated by a common language. Highly recommended - particularly for those who deal with the Yank / Brit equation on a regular basis. Thanks to this book I have a true appreciation (and now understanding) of those puzzled looks I receive on a daily basis!
My boss needs to read it next!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mark Goode on June 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is a humorous and mostly accurate comparison and contrast of the British and American cultures. It explores a wide array of the facets of our cultures, showing that George Bernard Shaw was right on the money when he said that the British and the Americans were two peoples divided by a common language.
The major problem with this book is that it is dated. A lot of references to the politics and pop culture of the Eighties, including Margaret Thatcher, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, the television shows "Dallas" and "Dynasty" and their characters and stars.
Other than this, a good book to have if you are interested in the cultural differences one finds across the Atlantic, but I'm not sure how reliable a cultural guide it would be if you were to travel today.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Erik S. Hansen on September 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm an American living in the North West of England, and I happened upon this book in my local Barnes and Noble the night before my return flight to England. As I'm never very happy about having to return, I thought this book might be just the ticket for a quick, light and entertaining read to pass the time on the flight. This book turned out to be the perfect choice! I think people around me must have thought I was deranged, as I would burst out laughing every few minutes. Her take on Brits and Americans is right on target. The thing that made me laugh the most was the chapter on British home decorating taste, which more times than not is an oxymoron. Also the bit about Americans thinking that death is optional, while the Brits think it's inevitable, so why do anything to fight it? I highly recommend this to Americans living in the U.K., and Brits living in the U.S. What a great read!
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